Under-15s storm to 7-1 victory

South Shields FC Under-15s 7-1 Whickham Fellside Greens, Sunday November 30

South Shields FC: Ramage, Rafferty (c), Henderson, Andersen, McGill, Smith, Slater, Daglish, Howe, Hogg, McBeth. Subs: Urwin, Gilchrist.

Whickham: Howe, Harrison, Cooper, Nilod, Hall, Kirkup, Hodgson, Quinn, Carey, Graham, Joyce. Subs: Bratch, James, Morton, Millman.

Goalscorers:

South Shields: McGill (2), Howe (2), Smith, Slater, McBeth.

Whickham: Ramage (og)

Report by Philip Reay

South Shields returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Whickham, but the opening exchanges gave no indication that the margin of victory would be as wide, as the visitors’ goal was not breached until the 21st minute.

Shields started well, but were unable to break through the visitors’ defence.

On 11 minutes, a free-kick was awarded to Shields on the edge of the Whickham box. Codie Howe (pictured) placed the ball before sending a curling shot that just cleared the crossbar.

The young Mariners maintained the pressure on the Whickham defence, and a fine move between Howe and Liam Simpson McGill opened up the defence, but Howe fired his shot well wide of the upright.

Within a minute, the Whickham defence was again under pressure as Scott Rafferty fired a ball towards James Hogg, but his deft flick was well saved by the opposition keeper.

From the restart, the ball fell into the path of George Daglish and he sent a looping shot over the onrushing defenders, but again the keeper was on hand to deny Shields.

The pressure eventually bore fruit with the game in the 20th minute. Hogg played the ball wide to Simpson McGill and he sent the ball towards Alex McBeth, whose initial shot was blocked by the keeper, but the ball ballooned up and McBeth was on hand to head in from close range.

As with buses, one soon became two. Howe collected the ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and rifled the ball into bottom corner of the goal to double the Shields advantage.

Shields continued to dominate the game as the visitors were finding it difficult to break out of their half.

With the game approaching the half-hour, James Hogg won the ball in the centre of the park before sending a pass wide to McBeth. He took the ball in his stride and outpaced the defence before sending a curling shot towards goal from the angle of the box that beat the outstretched hand of the keeper, but the ball grazed the top of the bar and the score remained 2-0.

In the closing minutes of the half, Rafferty released Hogg, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

The last action of an entertaining half saw Rafferty break through the opposition defence, but his shot flew just wide and the sides went into the break with Shields two goals to the good.

At the start of the second period, McBeth collected the ball in a central position, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

From the goal kick, Hogg collected the ball and floated a pass over the defence for Simpson McGill to run onto, but again the Whickham keeper denied Shields with another good save.

The young Mariners were not to be denied, and five minutes into the half Howe picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and sent a superb drive past the keeper to make it 3-0.

Whickham were fighting a rearguard action as the young Shields side continued to press forward, and on 55 minutes the defence was again breached as Simpson McGill ghosted in at the back post to fire in from close range for 4-0.

A minute later, completely against the run of play the visitors reduced the arrears, or Shields reduced the arrears as a back pass bobbled in front of Jack Ramage, and despite his scramble, he could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.

On the hour, Shields restored the four-goal cushion. Josh Smith floated the ball towards the back post, and Simpson McGill was on hand to head in for his second and Shields’ fifth.

A minute later, Smith almost claimed a goal for himself, but his shot was tipped over the bar by the Whickham keeper.

A minute later, again the keeper was on hand to deny Shields. Lewis Slater fired in a shot from the edge of the box and the keeper made another good save.

Slater was not to be denied a goal, though, and with 70 minutes on the clock he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and drilled the ball past the despairing dive of the keeper.

With five minutes remaining, Hogg played the ball into the path of Liam Andersen, but with the keeper beaten, his shot struck the post and the ball was cleared. However, it came straight back and Smith fired in from the edge of the box to make it 7-1.

In the closing stages of the game, the Whickham keeper again denied Shields as he capped a man of the match performance to tip the ball round the post to deny McBeth.